September 29th, 2010
01:35 PM ET

Letters to the President: #618 'The danger of name calling'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: President Obama is storming the country and calling down storms on the Republicans. Ok, they may deserve it, but I’m wondering if that kind of rainmaking might leave him soaked too.

Dear Mr. President,

I’ve had conversations with people around the country over the past couple of days, and I have to say I am now convinced that telling voters that the Republicans will do worse is just not going to cut it this fall. I’m sorry, but it seems to be true.

The failures of the GOP to meet public expectations have been widely publicized, readily grasped, and you’re preaching to the choir in a lot of places. Sure, Republicans have risen a little bit in the polls, but just a little. The main problem is that your party and the GOP are collectively so far down in public esteem.

Time and again the folks I was talking to sighed, told me how much they believed in you two years ago, and how disappointed they have been since. Now, in fairness, some made a point of saying they don’t think it’s all your fault. They still believe you are dedicated to doing a good job and helping the nation dig out of this hole. But even they found such profound fault with both parties that I just can’t see you winning them over by laying into the Republicans so hard.

Look, I said a few days back that I was going to be more positive and I will. So rather than harp further on what you should not be saying, let me talk about a message that might work - kind of like I told you yesterday about students. People in general need to hear specifics about what you have done, why you think it has worked, and what you are going to do next and why you think that will work, too. We have so much negative news swirling all around us that I think a lot of folks almost can’t stand hearing more negativity no matter whom it is aimed at.

That’s all there is to it. If you can meet that challenge, you’ve got a message that will sell. But attacking the Republicans as a mainstay makes you look, I fear, more and more like just another politician. And every soul I talked to who supports you says they believed fundamentally that you would find a way to unite the government - left and right, Democratic and Republican - and frankly every time you say it is the GOP’s fault, you just remind them that you could not get that job done.

If you need help on one of these speeches give me a call. As I’ve always said, I believe when a president calls, good Americans answer.


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Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. J.V.Hodgson

    What do you want Obama to do praise Republicans for constantly saying No to any legislation or government position requiring Senate approval ( many many still filibuster pending) and in doing so leaving 400 House bills passed not debated at all by the Senate even.
    Also I guess praise his pledge to America which increases the deficit and since when has any Party ever saved 10% the "pledge claim ($100bn) in government "discretionary" spending cuts, and do tell in the pledge where are the Jobs plans and discretionary spending specific cuts,notjust a woolly number.
    And you conclude the failure was Obama's... then tell me why Republicans voted against almost unanimously a Small business legislation package of tax cuts loan assistance and the SBA of America supported!?? for many many months!??
    before final passage!

    September 30, 2010 at 3:20 am |
  2. Tyrone

    Anderson you should be ashamed of even bringing up or stating that President Obama should not fight back or address the Republican stupid and NOT TRUE attacks! President Obama has listen to attacks on his church his Pastor the people that attended his church. Church members that was shut in and dying where question! His mother and father and grandparents sister and brother a aunt he hasn't seen in years if ever! All that was before he was President! After becoming President and accomplishing many of the things he stating when running! All the white control media focus on is what has not been done! All the time President Obama must deal with white Republican questioning his birth Certificate or rather where he was born. THe white control media now attack his wife and children and the nut cases Sean Hannity" Glenn Beck' Bill O'Reilly" Rush the highest paid Republican racist all attack the President daily with LIES! President Obama must deal with their lies of whether he was a Christian or a Muslim! If President Obama make any comments on American issue the white control media and the Republican Party and the idiot I mention above turn his remark around and state it was the wrong statement to make! President Obama has been called weak" stupid" Incompliant" racist"and many more untruths! President Obama is expected to clean up and turn the country positive in two years what took 8 years to mess up!

    September 29, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  3. luv

    Dear Tom, you are beginning to sound like member of tea party. No one person on earth at least now can unite rge republican party of old tired wh..men who have followed a history built on racial injustice and contend with FOX 24 hour cycle of racist, hatred propaganda for centuries and call it satire entertainment. He is expected to change something deeply rooted in 19 months. Dr. King tried it, look what happen to him. Those people you write about are insane and in denial to think one man can correct or cleanup all of the wrong, not, impossible. If they supported him in 08 and changed their votes, as Dick Cheney said once about a more serious matter, SO? so be it. They will get what they deserve and it is not the president.

    September 29, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  4. Paul Ernest Show, Nashville

    Tom, I think you are so wrong. Saying Republicans are to be blamed is as true as the sun above. It does not remind anyone that the president can't get the job done. The GOP actions determines his response. I don't think the president and democrats are articulating enough about what the GOP has done to this country.Tom, if you are making over half million, you live in a bubble, and just don't feel our pain out here, and listening to someone- GOP, deny responsibility for the pain of millions is unforgivable. The economy was in shambles when Clinton took office. It took over 2 years before he fixed it, but unfortunately, we and especially the GOP are have been dumping on the president from the get go. He is not a miracle man and not much American jobs were shipped to China and other countries then. You and I should be realistic and screaming that these jobs be returned. Over 400,000 industries leaving a country is a big loss. The GOP deserves it.

    September 29, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  5. Denise Estes

    Thank you Tom and Anderson! very good point...love Alex Sink for Governor...thanks for the interview this morning #CNN...more change is what is needed at the state level now

    September 29, 2010 at 1:53 pm |